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December 30th, 2014

Enterprise software vendors, partner networks and the importance of social ranking

Enterprise software vendors, partner networks and the importance of social ranking

social mediaEarlier this quarter we launched a social media scoring service to help technology vendors evaluate the influence of their business partners. Called ‘Channel Social Influence’ (or CSI) this service helps vendors to understand the online influence of individual partners across large partner networks. We’re not talking a few ISVs, SIs or technology partners, we’re talking about understanding networks in the hundreds, thousands, even the tens of thousands.

Understanding partner social standing helps marketers working in Channel Marketing on several levels:

  • Gaining insight into partners’ activities, reach and engagement on social media at an individual level
  • Being able to group partners into different ranks, presented in easily understood categories, ranks, tables and charts
  • Visibility of social media conversations and partner impact relating to specific projects, specific market trends and specific products
  • Understanding which partners have the greatest social media impact, so vendors can work closely with them, participate in, and contribute to, their social reach
  • Seeing any regional variations in partner social media activity, reach and impact
  • Developing social media marketing programs to assist partners that have lower level social media activity
  • Spending partner-related marketing budgets in relevant and targeted ways to extend reach, clarity of message and influence

Prompt CSI uses algorithm-based analysis alongside opinion and sentiment analysis to help vendors determine the social influence of individual partners on business-relevant social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. To find out more contact us at social@prompt-pr.com.

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December 22nd, 2014

Prompt loves London: The London Eye

Prompt loves London: The London Eye

London Eye

Q: Why is the London Eye like a cell phone?
[A: Because it’s full of names and numbers!]

Most call it the London Eye. But this iconic structure is formally known as the Millennium Wheel. Depending on which company or corporation has sponsored it, it’s also gone by the British Airways London Eye; the Merlin Entertainments London Eye; and EDF Energy London Eye. Come 2015, the Ferris wheel goes fizzy: Coca-Cola will sponsor the wheel beginning at the end of January.

No matter what it’s called, Europe’s biggest Ferris wheel overlooks the River Thames, not far from Prompt London’s new offices on London’s South Bank.

Climate-controlled passenger observation capsules carry seated or standing passengers for a beautiful bird’s-eye view of the city. It’s beautiful to see it all lit up at night.

As for the numbers?

• The London Eye was built in 1999
• It is over 135 metres tall (it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until 2006)
• It has over 3.5 million visitors each year
• Six countries supplied the wheel’s construction components
• It has 32 passenger capsules, carrying up to 25 people in each
• The capsules are numbered 1 to 33; Number 13 is left out
• One revolution takes about 30 minutes

So if you’re in London, be sure to get a ticket for the best Ferris wheel ride in Europe.

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December 19th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: Rising stars – Synchrony Innovations

The Prompt Byte: Rising stars – Synchrony Innovations

Photo of golden star with light bulbs on red velvet curtain on stageWorking in technology hubs on both side of the Atlantic, we’re always keen to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week in our newsletter – The Prompt Byte – we interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

This week, we spoke with Adam Caper, CEO of Synchrony Innovations about its newest invention, innovation, Boston and his first fast car.

  1. Tell us about your project, technology or company.

Synchrony Innovations was spun out of Synchrony Venture Management, a global leader in the development and support of strategic Corporate Venture Capital programs, in 2013. We recently created and launched TiCR Innovation Analytics, a robust, visual tool built for large enterprises to successfully evaluate the fit between their innovation investment options – R&D projects, corporate venture capital deals, partnerships, etc. – with their strategic priorities.  TiCR is based on a patented system for quantifying strategic value in large enterprises, and as far as we know is the only SaaS-based system that allows companies to measure the degree of relevance of innovation targets & projects to their overall corporate goals.

Its key for companies to understand where innovation is likely to be important, and to be able to quantify innovation in a tangible way. The world’s largest companies spend $800 billion a year on innovation – but according to Booz Allen Hamilton 70% is wasted. It is a big problem, and we’re fixing it with TiCR.

TiCR™ provides a robust, visual tool for mapping a firm’s ‘innovation topology’ to identify innovation strengths and weaknesses, critical gaps in capabilities, and strategically relevant external innovation activity. Using this map, companies can easily identify the most strategically relevant areas for innovation investment.

  1. What does innovation mean to you?

To me, it is the way in which we climb Maslow’s pyramid – the hierarchy of needs. Innovation is what takes us from being consumed with survival issues – the basic day-to-day human needs at the bottom of the pyramid – to being able to focus on the intellectual, social and spiritual issues at its top. So I think innovation is the mechanism which gives us the potential to fulfill our humanity…to become more and more like our ideal image of what it means to be human. To my mind, this is the fundamental premise of the American enterprise, in keeping with the words “to form a more perfect union”, from the Declaration of Independence. One of the ways that we CAN progress is by empowering ourselves with the things that innovation creates.

  1. Why is New England such a hotbed for innovation?

New England has always had great momentum. Information infrastructure began here, venture capital began here, higher-education has always been deeply rooted in our culture, and each of these things plays a critical role in innovation. So Boston has created a culture and infrastructure that continues to this day. Having said that, I think we’re also at risk of being lapped by some other places. Places where, for example, the investor community is less influenced by banking. VC in Boston has its roots in the banking industry and “old money” alternative investing, as we all know – and more driven by blazing new frontiers. And places that are earlier on their own developmental curve, and less constrained by past successes. We have a lot of opportunity to reinvent ourselves, primarily because of the tremendous influx of students every year. But the innovation community has to be willing to adapt and try new things, and I think that there’s a bunch of complacency that stands in its way. So we really need to fix that.

  1. If you weren’t based in New England, which city and/or country would you want to be based in and why?

I really love Boston. I moved here as a teenager and very quickly adopted it as home. But, taking that out of the equation, I’d have to say San Francisco or New York City. I believe there is much to be said for a city location when it comes to innovation. Cities are inherently chaotic. They both get people’s juices up and they make it difficult to maintain barriers between oneself and difference – different styles, different worldviews, different experiences – all of those provide inspiration. This is the reason that I would stay away from Silicon Valley, for example, vs. San Francisco. The valley is really insulated, and part of that is that it’s a car culture and life’s a little too easy, physically, there. Cities are harder to hide in, and the energy of a city is so broadening for people – it demands necessity rather than frivolity, which keeps it real rather than encouraging disruption for disruptions sake.

  1. Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love – either recently or in the past – and why you bought it.

My first iPod changed my life. I am a huge music buff, and having waited so long for something like that – I was in my late 30’s when it arrived – and that made it all the more special. My tablet also changed the way I consume information – I love that I can download a sample to my Kindle app, or look up something new that I come across on Wikipedia rather than just glossing over it. Last night I was sitting in bed at 1am following a chain of links that started with a WWII Army air group, then led to a description of the first two atomic bombs, why they were shaped the way they were, and the backstory of the specially modified B-29s dropped them and their arming mechanisms. It was just so easy to drill down on interesting details…when I was a kid, unless you were spectacularly motivated (and I wasn’t!) you just kind of skimmed over things you didn’t understand. So…that’s pretty cool.

To learn more about Synchrony Innovations, get in touch with Adam today

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December 12th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: December 12th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: December 12th, 2014




dividing line Prompt Byte

The how-to newsletter from Prompt PR

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London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111


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Welcome…

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…back to the Prompt Byte newsletter. We hope you enjoyed the first edition of our brand new how-to newsletter, and that you had a chance to browse our freshly revamped websites — Prompt PR, Prompt Social and Prompt Ed. This week, we offer advice for how to write the perfect press release and challenge you to identify this week’s Geek Speak. Think you can? Please tweet us your answers at @PromptBoston or @PromptLondon.

Last week’s quote — “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” — came from Carl Sagan, the American astronomer, popular science author and narrator of the Cosmos television series.

Thanks,

Hazel

Hazel Butters

CEO

Prompt PR

Twitter: @PromptLondon and @PromptBoston

Facebook: Prompt London and Prompt Boston

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How to
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How to write a good press release

Not all content is destined to be shared via a press release. But let’s assume that you have the perfect subject for a release and are about to write it up to share with relevant press. What should you include? How should you deliver the information? How long should the release be? And what information do you place at the beginning, in the middle or at the end?

We’ve prepared a rapid 20-point checklist that touches on some elements of a good press release. See how you get on following our advice. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of our consultants should you still find yourself in need of a professional touch. You can download the whole list of 20 ideas, but here’s a selection to get you started:

  • Jot down some facts that you need to include in the release. Make sure you frame facts so that a journalist or editor can quickly grasp the complete story. Put yourself in the position of the reader of a publication, and think about the questions they might ask. ‘When is it available?’ ‘How much does it cost?’ ‘Where can I get one?’ There may be business situations in which a client can’t answer even quite simple questions due to competitive reasons. But try and answer probable questions wherever possible. Offer contact details for follow-up discussions when not
  • Write your headline in the present tense. Make it short, relevant and to-the-point. Keep it factual. Include a subhead on anything but the shortest release, also in present tense. Ensure that it adds detail for the reader, and gives more weight to your headline
  • Add a ‘boilerplate’ about the company at the end of your release. If there are other parties involved with the release, consider also including boilerplates about them. These short paragraphs should always and only include core information each company
  • Most press releases will mention companies or organizations in some form. Please remember that in business these are always referred to in the singular form, and never in the plural. So always check that ‘IBM is opening a new office on Venus’ and that ‘Greenpeace has saved the Arctic’. Don’t use ‘are’ or ‘have’ by mistake. There are exceptions — for example, sports journalists often prefer to refer to teams in the plural. But singular is the global standard
  • Add contact details in an obvious place, either at the top of the release or at the end. Include a phone number, email address and social media handles. We would also recommend an out-of-hours phone number for journalists and editors that work outside typical office hours

Happy press release drafting! Remember, you can download the full list of 20 ideas here.

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How to
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Fund Wisdom

Working in technology hubs on either side of the pond, at Prompt we’re always keen to get to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week, we’ll interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

Today, we talk with Brian Thopsey of Boston-based company Fund Wisdom, a company that connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom and investment opportunities from platforms like AngelList, SeedInvest, WeFunder and more.

1. Tell us a bit about Fund Wisdom and how it got started.

I always wanted to create a successful business and as I began building I learned the difficulties entrepreneurs faced accessing capital. I wished there was a company like Fund Wisdom, a place that connects investors and entrepreneurs with the financial know-how they need. So I found team members like Renato Francia Castillo, Kyle Austin of Beantown Media Ventures, Devin Basinger of Accenture, along with several other advisors and created it.

Fund Wisdom connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom. We provide investment opportunities, access to capital, and the insight needed to succeed, saving you time and money. Two things you could always use investing and raising money.

Read more, here.

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App of the week
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XSS Hole

Cross-site scripting, or XSS, is a security vulnerability most often found in web applications. It allows hackers to inject client-side dynamic script into web pages so that dodgy content can be viewed or served to any site visitors. An XSS hole can be used to bypass access controls and create mischief or mayhem. It all depends on the website being attacked and the intention of the hackers…

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Copy corner
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Get Chunky!

The copy you write today is destined to go online. It might still be read in a newspaper or a magazine. But it will definitely be read on laptops, smartphones and tablets. This is something you need to grasp when typing up your prose. Most web users have no time for beautiful phrasing and impeccable sentence structure. They just want the facts. Preferably sculpted perfectly for a 5-inch screen.

So here’s the message to take away. Don’t be afraid to get clause happy when that national newspaper feature editor calls. But also be prepared to let a few traditional rules slide when writing web copy. Use short paragraphs consisting of chunky sentences. Make your point and start a new one.

Chunky writing is powerful. See? It’s direct and helps busy readers swallow more information faster. It’s not always elegant, sure. And it can be hard for a writer taught not to kick-off with conjunctions. But it works perfectly online. Try it.

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Local press coverage

Recently over on the Prompt PR blog we talked about pitching to the national press — how they work and how to get their attention. We highlighted the human-interest angle a lot, a key component in capturing such a broad audience.

The human-interest angle is also important for the local press but luckily, it’s already built in. People have a natural interest in the community directly surrounding them. So, whether you’re selling spaceships or shoes in your area — there is a home for you in the local papers.

And local press is effective. People want to support their neighbors, peers and economy. This week, one of our favorite Boston-based clients KinderLab Robotics had its robot kit, KIBO, featured in both the Boston Business Journal and the Improper Bostonian — just in time for the holidays.

It is as important to build relationships with journos down your own street as it with those on Wall Street. If capturing the attention, and loyalty, of your local press is something you could use a hand with, then please get in touch today.

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Geek speak
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“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.”

Without the help of Google, can you identify the voice behind this quote?

Tweet us at @PromptBoston and @PromptLondon if you can.

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App of the week
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Opinion

Opinion AOTW

If you think podcasting is soooo 2008, you’d better think again. More varied audiences listen to more podcasts than ever before. And the numbers continue to grow. Around 15 percent of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month, compared to 9 percent six years ago. Podcasting is bigger than you think. Watch this quick video about the Share of Ear from Edison Research — it’s a real ear opener! Hopefully now you won’t be quite so surprised that our App of the Week is Opinion for iPhone. This powerful, more human way to make podcasts on your phone is as easy as taking photos. It’s also free to get started, so why not find yourself a fresh idea and a nice quiet corner?

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Contact Prompt
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We hope you find our newsletter an interesting read. For any feedback on our newsletter, or to discuss how we can help you with your PR, marketing, social media/blogging initiatives, copywriting or surveys, please contact us using the details below. We are always delighted to hear from you.


London


22 Upper Ground

Eighth Floor

London

SE1 9PD


Boston


745 Atlantic Ave

Third Floor

Boston

MA 02111

info@prompt-pr.com | www.prompt-pr.com

space man
Prompt

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December 12th, 2014

The Prompt Byte: Rising stars – Fund Wisdom

The Prompt Byte: Rising stars – Fund Wisdom

Photo of golden star with light bulbs on red velvet curtain on stageWorking in technology hubs on both side of the Atlantic, we’re always keen to know more about the innovators on our doorsteps in Boston and London. Each week in our newsletter – The Prompt Byte – we interview a local startup to learn more about technology and inspiration that can be found at home.

Today, we talk with Brian Thopsey of Boston-based company Fund Wisdom, a company that connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom and investment opportunities from platforms like AngelList, SeedInvest, WeFunder and more.

Tell us a bit about Fund Wisdom and how it got started. 

I always wanted to create a successful business and as I began building I learned the difficulties entrepreneurs faced accessing capital. I wished there was a company like Fund Wisdom, a place that connects investors and entrepreneurs with the financial know-how they need. So I found team members like Renato Francia Castillo, Kyle Austin of Beantown Media Ventures, Devin Basinger of Accenture, along with several other advisors and created it.

Fund Wisdom connects investors and entrepreneurs with financial wisdom. We provide investment opportunities, access to capital, and the insight needed to succeed, saving you time and money. Two things you could always use investing and raising money.

The Fund Wisdom team is made up of financial and technology professionals. We bring years of experience in business technology, financial engineering, and early-state capital formation to our clients. We believe we can improve the investment process and bring transparency to the market, providing insight to both investors and entrepreneurs 

What does innovation mean to you?

Innovation is ‘the grind’ – the countless hours entrepreneurs put in to disrupt existing business. These acts of immense effort by teams of incredibly passionate people make life better and improve society as a whole. Now when I discover inventive products and solutions I obsess over how they came to be. Books like ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz’ and ‘Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days’ by Jessica Livingston describe the grind and what it takes to come out alive. We believe we can bring innovative approaches to financial markets, but understand the only way we will succeed is through dedication to our vision.

Why is New England such a hotbed for innovation?

The top schools, thinkers, dreamers, and investors are in New England. In fact, Massachusetts is the second most venture-funded state in the US. This must be why we see so many awesome companies, and new entrepreneurial resources being created. Companies like Wayfair, Acquia, Adharmonics have been achieving incredible results. Offices for startups are popping up everywhere, like NGIN Workplace where we currently work, and incubator programs like MassChallenge and FinTech Sandbox spur this success. I’m proud to have spent my professional career in the greater Boston area. I feel lucky to be in this incredible place that fosters innovation.

Do you have any concerns about New England’s growth and innovation culture?

Competing for talent with the West Coast has and continues to be a concern. I believe the community at large is shifting to improve the region’s competitiveness, but still has a way to go. We are having success attracting bright experienced students to our internship programs, but I am concerned as we grow and need to hire more full time employees.

What are some of the trends and challenges you’ve seen in the New England tech scene?

We cover four firms currently raising money publicly online, two in Massachusetts, one in New Hampshire and one in Maine. In the short period of time we have been covering the industry we have seen two firms in Massachusetts exceed their goals and successfully raise capital.

If you weren’t based in New England, which city would you want to be based in and why?

San Francisco due to its concentration of technology firms, amount of venture investment, and equity funding platforms. The idea of improving our proximity to these firms is attractive, but we feel lucky to be located in Boston and have no intentions to leave.

Name a piece of technology you’ve bought personally that you love and why you bought it. 

Targeted online advertising platforms. I am surprised by the results from the targeted advertising through search engines, Twitter, and Facebook that we have run. We are targeting accredited investors, or high net worth individuals which I assumed would be very expensive to acquire, and are getting some to sign up with a tiny budget.

Would you like to be our next rising star? Get in touch with us at info@prompt-pr.com!

 

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